Meet Joseph Becker
The countdown begins! We are heartbeats away from the launch of Project 387 season two. Here is the final interview we did with our upcoming residents. Meet Joseph Becker and learn what he will be working on while up in Gualala for two weeks!
P387: Tell us briefly about the focus of your work.
JB: I’ll be working on a research project focusing on the architecture and landscape architecture of Sea Ranch, and the contextual history of design in Northern California during the 1960s. I am interested in exploring the history and conditions of Sea Ranch, looking specifically at the intersection of site, place, landscape, climate, design strategy, and the “slow-growth” integration of a large-scale development with some of the most gorgeous coastline in the world.
P387: What themes are you currently exploring?
JB: I’m investigating and researching the Sea Ranch origins, development, design guidelines, and philosophy, and how Lawrence Halprin’s role as Landscape Architect, and MLTW and Esherick’s roles as architects, inform Northern California Regionalism and act as a crux of what some refer to as the Third Bay Tradition architecture style. I’m interested in how the Sea Ranch project fits into a larger bay area history.
P387: What are you looking at, reading, or listening to right now that is influencing your work or process?
JB: I’m in the process of assembling a pile of research material – I think the main influence will come from being in the place!
P387: What does a typical day in the studio/office look like for you?
JB: During a research phase of a project my office is typically a pile of relevant books and documents that are in various states of being read, reread, and unread. If given an opportunity to avoid the day to day operations as a curator at SFMOMA, I tend to wake up early with a good cup of coffee, read a bit, break for some food, and repeat as necessary.
P387: Is there anything unusual that helps you stay focused while working?
JB: I default to Philip Glass and good coffee.
P387: What's the best advice someone has giving you about your work? The worst?
JB: As a curator the advice you receive is very different from the advice you receive as a studio artist. I think the best exhibitions are formed from engaging directly with the material or topic, and so the most important advice you can receive is really just listening to any and all parties that have been involved in the history of the work.
P387: Are you involved in any upcoming shows/events/happenings?
JB: Most of our “upcoming” things aren’t until 2016 when the museum reopens!
P387: Is there one particular thing you are most looking forward to at Project 387?
JB: Fresh air and the beautiful Northern California coastline. It’s exactly what drove the Sea Ranch project in the first place.